Cocker Spaniel Jumping - Three Easy Steps to Stop It

Your Cocker Spaniel jumps on you when you get home, jumps on your guests, jumps on your sofa and bed. You have come to the point where it is not cute anymore and need to stop it. But what do you do?

To understand how to stop this behavior let’s take a look at how this behavior got started in the first place. When you first got your Cocker Spaniel puppy it was much smaller to start with and everything it did to get your attention was cute. It would jump with its paws at your legs, stand up on it hind legs begging to be picked up or just jumped up and down until you picked it up. When the dog was a pup it was cute but now that the dog is twenty pounds heavier it is not so cute anymore.

Dog Jumping Behavior

What happened here is that we have, unknowingly, trained the dog to act out the behavior it has associate with our actions. Unfortunately, sending the dog the wrong signals will do this. After all you can’t expect the dog to decide when it ok to jump on you and when it’s not. Dogs just can’t figure that out for themselves. They don’t think that way. They are just trying to get your attention.

During the day we may be reinforcing bad behavior. Take for instance, your dog jumps up your bed in the morning and wakes you with a face licking and wants you to pick him up. You may think your dog is jumping at you because it wants to play. You may command the dog to jump up on the sofa because it’s easier to put the leash on him. Then it’s not ok when your dog marks your clothing with its paws as you leave the house or jumps up on your guests when they come over. The point here is that the dog is receiving mixed signals. The good news is that we can fix this; we just need to clear up a few things in order to get started and stop the Cocker Spaniel Jumping all over you.

Where to Start

The first place to start is to determine how you want your dog to behave and then be consistent with your signals. Remember dogs live in the “now” and do not understand “sometimes”. So if you want to stop the jumping there is a little area that needs to be defined. Ask yourself the following.

When does the jumping occur?
How do you respond to the jumping?
Are you consistent with your signals?
When are you not consistent with your signals?

Three Steps for Stopping Dog Jumping

Step 1. Do not reinforce the Cocker Spaniel jumping with the same old responses. This includes word commands and well as body language. In other words do not pick up your dog when it is trying to get your attention by jumping on you. This would only reinforce the bad behavior. It’s time to replace your body language and commands during the jumping.

Step 2. When the dog jumps up at you, command the dog to sit. Most dogs know this command and is easily taught. When the dog sits wait a few seconds and then reward the dog with a treat right away. If after you provide the dog with a treat and it starts jumping on you again, repeat the sit command and appropriately reward the dog after it has performed the desired behavior. What you are trying to do is associate the proper behavior in the dog. You may also try turning your back on the dog to let it know you disapprove of its actions and then proceed with the sit command.

Step 3. Be consistent. This is very important; do not reward your dog for the wrong behavior. It will only confuse the dog if you are inconsistent. Praise the dog whenever it sits in front of you in response to your command. You are teaching your dog the new polite way to get your attention. It will soon replace the jumping.

Teaching your dog not to jump is an easy behavior modification. The trick is replacing your old signals with new signals. What you want to do is break the association that is signaling your dog to jump and associate new behaviors with new commands.

The Cocker Spaniel has figured out a way to get your attention by jumping, now it’s up to you to teach the pup that it will get your attention only if he sits in front of you. The new signals should produce the desire response with your Cocker Spaniel. You may need to be a little more patient in the beginning, but with kind and gentle training you’ll get there faster than you think and stop the Cocker Spaniel jumping.